Category Archives: Student Voice

Boosting ISB Response Rates

The International Student Barometer is currently open and, as with any survey, there are actions that could be taken to help boost response rates.

Mobile Devices

Actively encourage completion using a mobile device. Most people have at least one mobile device and the ISB Survey can be completed on any device by following the personalised link emailed to students. Wireless access is being continuously improved across campus (as a result of student feedback!) which should make this really easy and convenient.

If possible arrange dedicated information sessions or set aside a brief amount of time at the start or end of timetabled sessions for students to complete surveys on their own devices.

Engage Students

Task student ambassadors or stage reps with encouraging their cohort to take part in surveys by posting on School/Programme social media. Encouraging discussion among student cohorts may lead to positive suggestions for improvement. Announcements could also be made on Blackboard community or module pages.

For all internal and external surveys it is important to ensure examples of improvements made both in house and across the wider University in response to results are communicated to students. Try to highlight what has been achieved at local level in response to past surveys of any kind and direct students to the ‘You Said We Did‘ webpage for examples of how student feedback has helped shape the student experience.

Prizes to be won!

Don’t forget to remind students that in return for their valued opinions, all respondents are entered into a prize draw (see terms and conditions). In 2017, the prizes include:

  • 1st Place prize: 5-inch iPad Pro (one available to win)
  • 2nd Place prizes: iPad mini 4 (two available to win)
  • 3rd Place prizes:£20 Amazon gift card (20 available to win)

What does it matter anyway?

The Student Voice is an essential component of how the University does business. We need to hear about student experiences and work with students to improve the student experience for them and for future students. While feedback can be gathered in other ways such as through Student-Staff Committees, student surveys give the opportunity to capture data that can be compared easily between academic years and stages. Positive and negative responses are equally as important as we need to know what we do well so it can be rolled out as best practice, and where we can improve to help students have the best experience possible.

The higher the response rate to a survey, the more representative the findings should be.

If you have any queries regarding the ISB or any examples of efforts to boost response rates you would like to share please contact us.

Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET)

In an effort to streamline stage and module evaluations, changes to the way we conduct surveys across the University are coming into effect from 2019/2020.

Individual module evaluations will no longer run in the academic year 2019/20, except through consultation with LTDS for new modules or to support accreditations. Stage evaluations will continue but from academic year 2019/20 will be run once per semester and managed centrally by LTDS. Schools will no longer be required to set these up.

Find further information about Student Evaluation of Teaching on the Learning and Teaching website.

the parent HUB

Newcastle University Peer Mentoring is proud to launch the parent HUB.

This hub is aimed for all students who are parents, foster carers, adoptive parents, or about to become parents, regardless of age, gender or sexuality.

The free online hub allows you to share experiences, ask questions and be part of a parenting community within the university. There will be trained university wide peer mentors as part of the network to offer one-to-one support and guidance, as well as answer any question in the discussion board.

The hub will be based on Microsoft Teams and is an excellent source of advice and support from like-minded, empathetic and patient peers.

There will be a schedule of face-to-face activities for you to meet up with other parents, ask questions, have a chat, share your experiences and support you through the balance of being a student and a parent. And for those of you unable to attend these, there will also be a range of ZOOM online conference activities to allow you to meet new parents and be able to engage in conversation as though you were in the same room from the comfort of your own home.

The parent hub will also allow you to share, lend, borrow, give, donate, sell, and buy those much needed pieces of equipment and clothing via the online discussion group.

The files section of the hub will allow the University to share useful information and documents with you – as well as members of the network being able to upload documents as well.

There will be the opportunity to share your experiences of child-friendly shops, restaurants, taxi companies, as well as provide some top tips of baby-changing facilities in the University and city, and baby feeding friendly places.

To join the parent HUB please email Tony Chapman-Wilson at peer.mentoring@newcastle.ac.uk now.

There will be the official launch of the parent HUB at an activity event on Wednesday 17 April 2019 between 11am and 2pm. This will take place in the Lindisfarne Room in the Hadrian’s Building opposite the Bedson Building and Boiler Room.

There will be refreshments and activities for the children, as well as the opportunity for you to meet other parents. There will be a child feeding room available, as well as the opportunity to speak to members of the University Peer Mentoring scheme and Student Health and Wellbeing Services.

Come along at any point during the event and sign up for the parent HUB on the day as well.

International Student Barometer 2018

Monday 22 October sees the launch of the 2018 International Student Barometer (ISB), in which Newcastle University is undertaken for the fourteenth year.

The ISB gives European Union and international students the opportunity to give their opinions on their experiences at Newcastle, from arrival at the University, through to teaching, accommodation and employability

We will survey all full-time and part-time EU and international undergraduate, taught and research postgraduate students, as well as study abroad and exchange students, based here in Newcastle and at Newcastle University London. We are unable to survey non-UK based and distance learning students as part of the ISB.

What is the ISB?

Continue reading International Student Barometer 2018

Module Evaluation Results

How and when are results of Module Evaluations received by Academic Staff?

Each module should be evaluated every time it is delivered using the University’s module evaluation system, EvaSys. The results are usually sent to Academic staff via email in the form of PDF attachments, and this is done in one of two ways;

  1.  The survey is set up by local Professional Services staff to automatically send the PDF results upon closure of the survey. This option can be selected during the creation of the survey.
  2.  Local Professional Services staff manually send the results in PDF format from within the EvaSys system at an agreed time. This option can be used if the automatic dispatch is not selected during survey setup.

In both instances the timing of the surveys and the receipt of results should be agreed within the academic unit, paying particular attention to survey close times to allow for discussion of results with senior colleagues if required.

More information regarding Module and Stage Evaluations is available on our webpages

The Policy on Surveying and Responding to Student Opinion details who is entitled to see results of Module Evaluations.

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2018

We will shortly be launching this year’s Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES).  PTES will open on Monday 16 April and run until Friday 15 June.

PTES is the only national survey of postgraduate taught students’ experience of learning and teaching.  The results will allow you to compare students’ experience of postgraduate programmes both internally and against the groups of institutions so to make changes that better meet their future needs.

The survey is also an opportunity for students to voice their opinion and to be partners in developing the postgraduate learning experience.  Information gathered helps us to demonstrate the quality of taught postgraduate degree programmes and show commitment to postgraduate education.

Please do all that you can to promote it.  The more students that take part the better the picture we will get of the taught postgraduate experience at Newcastle.

To find out more about PTES this year, visit http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ltds/student/opinion/PTES/ or contact newcastlestudentsurveys@ncl.ac.uk

Completing EvaSys Evaluations using Mobile Devices

Written by Liz

Module and stage evaluations are now even more accessible and are available for students to complete on their electronic devices. The Evasys system which delivers the online surveys is compatible with iSO, Android and Windows devices. With the addition of extra wifi access across the university it makes it easier for students to take part.

Students should be encouraged to complete the surveys during lectures and seminars if there is time available to do so. Many students don’t respond to surveys as they are not in a suitable place to respond when the email comes in, but if they are encouraged to respond during a lecture or seminar, it will help to boost response rates and make the feedback more reliable. When surveys open for students they are sent an email with a link to take part in the survey. This link is individual to the student and can only be used once.  Continue reading Completing EvaSys Evaluations using Mobile Devices

International Student Barometer

Monday 23 October sees the launch of the 2017 International Student Barometer (ISB), in which Newcastle University is undertaken for the thirteenth year.

The ISB gives European Union and international students the opportunity to give their opinions on their experiences at Newcastle, from arrival at the University, through to teaching, accommodation and employability

We will survey all full-time and part-time EU and international undergraduate, taught and research postgraduate students, as well as study abroad and exchange students, based here in Newcastle and at Newcastle University London. We are unable to survey non-UK based and distance learning students as part of the ISB.

What is the ISB?

The annual ISB, which is run by i-Graduate, asks European Union and international students in around 200 universities across the world about their course and learning experiences. In 2017, the ISB will run at Newcastle between Monday 23 October and Friday 1 December.

What questions does it ask?

The survey includes questions about the whole student learning experience, including:

  • Pre-Arrival (including decision-making, application, and funding)
  • Arrival (including registration, and welcome/induction)
  • Learning (including teaching, assessment, and employability)
  • Living (including living costs, sports facilities, and accommodation)
  • Support (including personal tutors, students’ union, and wellbeing)

Who benefits from the ISB?

Schools, professional services and NUSU examine the anonymised ISB data internally to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used to help effect changes designed to enhance or improve the student experience for both current and prospective students. Schools should make sure that the results of the ISB are considered by Boards of Studies and that they provide all students with feedback on key actions taken or planned in response to the outcomes of the survey (and about those elements which will not be acted on and the reasons for this).

Some examples of changes implemented in recent years can be found at https://internal.ncl.ac.uk/yousaidwedid/actions/

Want to know more?

More details about the ISB, including access to previous year’s results, can be found at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ltds/student/opinion/ISB/index.htm or obtained by emailing newcastlestudentsurveys@ncl.ac.uk